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proposed meeting with the chiefs from Buffalo creek, so that all our proceedings may be marked with the highest openness and truth.
But you are to judge how far you may with safety leave your families, for the time you must necessarily be absent, in order to repair here.
If you should judge your families would not be safe, then we will concur in the best arrangements to secure them, as we should to secure our own women and children.
Let us know, immediately, your intention, because, if you cannot come and receive the words which I have to speak to you in the name of the President of the United States, I must commission some person to repair to you with another message, and some further propositions concerning your own safety, and to cement our friendship.
I send you this message by Captain Waterman Baldwin, who will accompany you to this city; or who, in case of your declining to come, will be the bearer of your message. Given, &c.
H. KNOX, Secretary of War.
The Secretary of War to Captain Joseph Brandt.
February 25th, 1792. SIR: Colonel Pickering, who had some communications with the Senecas, and others of the Six Nations, during the two last years, was duly authorized to invite you to visit this city, in order to consult you upon the best means of civilizing and advancing the happiness of the Indians. Some information has been recently received from Mr. Kirkland, intimating your disposition to perform the visit, but declining to do it upon the former invitation, as not being sufficiently explicit.
1 American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 228.
I now repeat to you this invitation, accompanied with a wish that you would repair to this city, which is the seat of the General Government; and I can assure you that the President of the United States will be highly gratified by receiving and conversing with a chief of such eminence as you are, on a subject so interesting and important to the human race.
This invitation is given to you from the fairest motives. The President of the United States is conscious of the purest dispositions to promote generally the welfare of the Indians, and he flatters himself that proper occasions only are wanting to impress them with the truth of this assertion. He considers your mind more enlightened than theirs, and he has hopes that your heart is filled with a true desire to serve the essential interests of your countrymen. The United States, much against the inclination of the Government, are engaged in hostilities with some of the Western Indians. We, on our parts, have entered into it with reluctance, and consider it as a war of necessity; and not, as is supposed and industriously propagated by many, for the purpose of accumulating more land than has been ceded by the treaty with the Indians, since the peace with Great Britain. We are desirous of bringing it to a conclusion, not from any apprehension as to a favorable result, because, by a comparison of forces and resources, however troublesome a perseverance therein may be to us, it must be utter destruction to the hostile Indians. We are desirous, for the sake of humanity, of avoiding such a castrophe.
This is the main business which will be mentioned to you on the part of the United States; and it is an object worthy of the best cultivated head and heart. If you should enter into this view, Mr. Kirkland has directions to concert with you the most satisfactory mode of your performing the journey. The nature of the case will show the necessity of your coming without delay, if you incline to accept this invitation.
The Secretary of War to Rev. Samuel Kirkland.
February 25th, 1792. SIR: I have received your letter of the 13th, with its enclosures, by Mr. Reed.
I transmit you a letter for Captain Brandt, whose presence here is considered of great importance. You will, of course, spare no pains in endeavoring to induce him to come; the means you will carefully devise.
In case of his compliance, you will arrange with him the most satisfactory mode of travelling, which ought to be as flattering to him as may be; and you will accompany him.
It will be important that the Buffalo and Genesee Indians also come, particularly the former. In case of their journey, you will inform me duly thereof, and send them under the care of General Chapin, or such other person as you shall judge proper, with suitable interpreters, while you accompany Captain Brandt.
I have ordered Mr. Reed three hundred dollars, agreeably to your request.
The Secretary of War to Rev. Samuel Kirkland.?
March 7th, 1792. Sir: I have received your favor of the 25th ultimo. I am heartily glad you have succeeded in obtaining the chiefs to come with you.
I am sensible the number, with some people, will be considered as objectionable, but I am induced to believe that your prudence has been properly exercised on this point.
In order to secure the Indians from any insult, I have persuaded Colonel Procter and Lieutenant Sedam to meet and conduct you to this city.
It would be proper that I should be acquainted, at least a week before your arrival, how they are to be lodged, whether in one house, or any distinction made in the manner of their accommodation.
1American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 228. *Ibid., p. 229.
I would have them satisfactorily treated on the road; in order to this end, I have sent you, by Lieutenant Sedam, seven hundred dollars.
You will remember that duplicate vouchers must be produced for all expenditures.
It is the desire of the President of the United States that no pains, or even reasonable expense, should be spared to obtain a visit from Captain Brandt. You will therefore arrange this matter on the best possible footing on receiving my letter of the 25th ultimo.
Speech of the President of the United States to the chiefs and repre
sentatives of the Five Nations of Indians, in Philadelphia, 230 March, 1792.
SACHEMS AND WARRIORS OF THE FIVE NATIONS: It affords me great satisfaction to see so many of you, who are the respectable chiefs and representatives of your several tribes; and I cordially bid you welcome to the seat of Government of the United States.
You have been invited to this place by Colonel Pickering, at my special request, in order to remove all causes of discontent, to devise and adopt plans to promote your welfare, and firmly to cement the peace between the United States and you, so as that, in future, we shall consider ourselves as brothers indeed.
I assure you that I am desirous that a firm peace should exist, not only between the United States and the Five Nations, but also between the United States and all the natives of this land; and that this peace should be founded upon the principles of justice and humanity as upon an immoveable rock.
That you may partake of all the comforts of this earth, which can be derived from civilized life, enriched by the possession of industry, virtue, and knowledge; and I trust that such judicious measures will now be concerted to secure to you, and your children, these invaluable objects, as will afford you just cause of rejoicing while you live.
1American State Papers, Indian Affairs, Vol. I, p. 229.
That these are the strong and sincere desires of my heart, I hope time and circumstances will convince you. But, in order that our peace and friendship may forever be unclouded, we must forget the misunderstandings of past times. Let us now look forward and devise measures to render our friendship perpetual.
I am aware that the existing hostilities with some of the Western Indians have been ascribed to an unjust possession of their lands by the United States. But be assured, that this is not the case; we require no lands but those obtained by treaties, which we consider as fairly made, and particularly confirmed by the treaty of Muskingum in the year 1789.
If the Western Indians should entertain the opinion that we want to wrest their lands from them, they are laboring under
If this error could be corrected it, would be for their happiness; and nothing would give me more pleasure, because it would open to both of us the door of peace.
I shall not enter into further particulars with you at present, but refer you to General Knox, the Secretary of War, and Colonel Pickering, who will communicate with you upon the objects of your journey, and inform me thereof.
As an evidence of the sincerity of the desires of the United States for perfect peace and friendship with you, I deliver you this white belt of wampum, which I request you will safely keep.
(On the 13th of March, a deputation of the Five Nations, consisting of fifty, arrived in Philadelphia. They were invited through the agency of Mr. Kirkland for the purpose of attaching them to, and convincing them of, the justice and humanity of the United States; and also, to influence them to repair to the hostile tribes, in order to use their efforts to bring about a peace. These objects appeared to be effected, and they departed to carry them into execution. Besides abundant presents, fifteen hundred dollars, annually, were stipulated to these Indians by the President and Senate of the United States for the purpose of attempting to civilize them.
All the various speeches, to and from them, have not been deemed necessary to be here inserted. The speeches of the President of the United States to them, of the 23d of March, soon after their arrival, and of the 23d of April, before their departure,